Complex Histories, Contested Memories: Some Reflections on Remembering Difficult Pasts

Eva Hoffman
September 2000
Photo of Eva Hoffman.

Eva Hoffman considers the current preoccupation with memory—as opposed to its referents (history, experience)—and particularly with memory of the Holocaust. She proposes that the intense absorption with memory has largely emerged from the “second generation,” i.e., from those for whom the Holocaust (or other disturbing pasts) has been a crucially formative event, yet one that they themselves did not experience.